It’s about time you take your company’s B2B content marketing strategy seriously.
When it comes to ROI, content marketing is one of the most powerful tactics in your B2B marketing toolkit – driving more than three times as many leads and six times higher conversion rates as traditional outbound marketing. A B2B content marketing strategy also costs 62% less than outbound marketing, and generates more than three times as many leads.
The Content Marketing Institute defines content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
From a B2B perspective, it’s crucial to employ an ROI-centric strategy that ensures each piece of content is measured against strategic KPIs assigned to each stage in the customer journey. From there, you can ensure the dollars spent on content marketing are well worth the investment.
Here’s five steps to achieving success with your global B2B content marketing roll out:
1. Conduct a B2B Content Audit / Analysis
The first step in developing a B2B content marketing strategy is to understand your current B2B sales cycle and what role content marketing plays in this process. During this analysis phase, I recommend you take a look at the following:
- Current content pillars / categories and existing content assets
- Target market segments for each content pillar + global equivalencies
- Reach / engagement of current content + KPI benchmarks
- Existing strategy and tools for global distribution of content
Once you have a foundational understanding of your existing content strategy and its impact, it’s time to turn your attention towards analysis:
- Measure performance of content as it relates to business objectives
- Analyze current internal communications and engagement metrics
- Create a breakdown of content performance by category and type of content
- Evaluate existing content channels and measure acquisition rate of each platform
2. Develop a Global B2B Content Marketing Framework
Building a global B2B content marketing framework requires a strategic approach which effectively balances global content development with the unique needs of each regional market. Here’s how to get started:
Define Clear Target Audience Segments
The key to successful B2B content marketing is to be laser focused. This starts with clearly defining your target audience segments and ensuring these personas are aligned across your global markets. It’s best that this be a joint effort between regional teams to ensure the content packages the central team creates can be repurposed globally.
Establish Regional Editorial Boards
While the main editorial team will create content at a global level, a local editorial board should be in place in each region to manage content and distribution for that specific market. The goal of the local editorial boards is to ensure the content they’re re-purposing is catered specifically to their market and target personas.
Since regions can have dozens of countries and languages, it’s important to create content centrally and allow local markets to fill in the gaps.
3. Launch An Internal Communications Strategy
During this phase, we turn our attention towards the internal communications strategy and effective methods for educating global marketers about the content marketing program.
Develop A Centralized Content Hub
The choice of a content hub is crucial and usually requires a detailed discussion with your other regions. The key is to select a content hub that the countries can easily update on a regular basis.
- Newscred recommends a content hub that eliminates as many steps as possible in your creation process to ensure an efficient and regular delivery of new and engaging content.
- Employ a dedicated hub for each local audience with the understanding that there are many choices – a blog, a landing page, an email-based hub – that could all become effective local hubs with the right amount of effort and dedication.
Educate Marketers About The Content Marketing Program
In addition to internal communication, education is key to a successful global content marketing program.
- In order to do this, consider a bi-monthly newsletter highlighting new content, methodologies, frameworks and best practices.
- Leverage any existing company ‘learning weeks’ and deliver multiple content marketing sessions or webinars distributed to your marketers around the globe.
- Measure the success of your internal education program in the form of newsletter audience size, open rate and more. Once ROI is determined, investigate new content modalities such as internal podcasts and other ways to reach your marketers around the globe.
4. Pilot Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy
In this phase, you are ready to pilot the content marketing program and begin developing test results to inform the broader strategy and begin generating the business case for content marketing at-scale.
Launch Your B2B Content Marketing Pilot
In a large enterprise, running pilot programs across geographies to test, prove viability, and deliver an agreed upon outcome is ideal practice. It’s best to start small, test that your strategy works, generate results, and create a proper business case in order to roll out a global B2B content marketing program.
- Introduce a central content program first to develop a foundation of content, and then progressively launch in local markets over time.
- In a global content marketing model, set up the pilot program as a test in one or two markets with no more than two different languages.
- If possible, run the pilot program with existing marketing technologies (marketing automation and content marketing platforms, for example).
Gather Data, Compile Results & Develop Insights
Before going global, be sure to test different content channels and publishing platforms in order to gather crucial data and insights.
- Identify content themes that works for the countries, run paid and organic search pilots, and test marketing automation tools.
- Once the pilots are complete, collect feedback and results to ensure the program worked and that the countries identified where there was room for improvement.
- Utilize a strategic subset of KPIs to evaluate the pilot programs: blog or landing page views, social engagement, downloads, conversion rate, leads, etc.
- Measure content performance against traditional campaigns to begin building out the ROI value.
5. Launch Your Global B2B Content Marketing Program
When the primary team has analyzed the results, the content KPIs have been discussed with countries piloting the program and everyone has been educated on the content frameworks, models and tools, then it’s time to launch globally.
- Employ a fully integrated distribution model for your content that incorporates paid, earned, owned and shared media. Understand where your target audience spends their time and optimize accordingly.
- Once you’ve completed planning and preparation, it’s crucial to closely measure the effectiveness of the program by tracking share of conversations on specific keywords, engagement, page views and conversion rate. Pay close attention to leads generated, subscribers added, marketing opportunities and ROI.
- As you roll out each stage of your B2B global content marketing program, always keep in mind the lessons learned from the pilots and maintain continuous positive dialogue with all geographies to get the best results.
A B2B content marketing strategy is a highly effective program for lead generation and customer acquisition. It requires a strategic approach that aims to deliver efficient, compelling, and customizable content that can be repurposed and applied effectively to all your markets across the globe. The best way to do this is through an analysis of your current content and the development of a content marketing framework. From there, you can develop an internal communication plan and piloted roll out which gathers data for a fully integrated launch.
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